An eleven-day journey to Israel extends to 40 years. Why was the Exodus such an extended affair? The reason is that a slave mentality needed to be transformed into a new nation of Israel, a nation that would hold its head high and have perfect faith in their future. Sometimes the long road becomes the short way – depending on the goal. If the Jews if the Exodus had Waze or Googlemaps they would have realized that the journey from Egypt to Israel was 11 days walk. Clearly they clicked on ‘Alternative Routes’ and found this one – a little longer, 40 years longer – but highly profitable, not in $ but in spiritual growth. The Jews of the exodus had a slave-nation mentality. Having been the street cleaners, and menial laborers for so many generations, their self-image suffered greatly. The new science of neuroplasticity informs us that the more we think in a certain way the more entrenched is the brain pathway, and will repeat that thought pattern with ease. A downtrodden people will eventually lose inspiration and aspirations and this will become the default outlook on life. That was the case with the 3 million+ Jews who left Egypt. The ten plagues decimate Egypt; the Reed Sea splits; the Egyptian army is demolished. And yet the people have doubts, to the point of carving a golden calf. Makes no sense? Not at all. The grooves of the mind cannot be undone overnight, and certainly not in eleven days, especially when they have been inherent for so long. So 40 years passes, a new generation arises, and a nation is born in the desert that has no neuro-transmitic brain pathways of defeatism. A sense of pride and absolute faith in Moses and G-d characterizes each new Jew of this new nation of Israel. So when you set your Waze or Googlemaps destination, make sure you check the alternative routes available. You might just end up in Israel with a much better outlook on life.